West Side Story star Ariana DeBose hosts first Saturday Night Live of 2022



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West Side Story star Ariana DeBose hosts first Saturday Night Live of 2022 with Die Young rapper Roddy Ricch as musical guest










West Side Story star Ariana DeBose landed a plum gig hosting the first Saturday Night Live episode of 2022.

The 30-year-old actress, who has years of Broadway experience, played the role of Anita which won Rita Moreno an Oscar in the film version of West Side Story in 1961.

Now, after lending her talents to a legendary former musical, she will try her hand at a comedy institution on January 15, according to the Saturday Night Live Instagram.

Incoming: West Side Story star Ariana DeBose landed a plum concert hosting the first Saturday Night Live episode of 2022

In the same post, the sketch program revealed that Die Young rapper Roddy Ricch will be the musical guest on the January 15 episode.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the new West Side Story film is directed by Ansel Elgort – who last year denied a sexual assault claim – and YouTube star Rachel Zegler.

West Side Story was adapted from Romeo and Juliet and transposed into a war between white gangs and Puerto Ricanes in 1950s New York.

Directed and choreographed by the famous Jerry Robbins, the show featured a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

There's Ariana: The 30-year-old actress, who has years of Broadway experience, played the role of Anita whose boyfriend is the brother of the great lady Maria.

There’s Ariana: The 30-year-old actress, who has years of Broadway experience, played the role of Anita whose boyfriend is the brother of the great lady Maria.

Chita Rivera played the role of Anita, the girlfriend of one of the Puerto Rican gang members and the singer of America’s most famous number.

Rita Moreno starred in the 1961 film co-directed by Jerry – who was in charge of musical numbers until he was fired – and Robert Wise.

Jerry was infamous and Stephen Sondheim described him as “very rude, paranoid, suspicious” to the New York Times.

Oscar winner: Rita Moreno played the role in the 1961 film co-directed by Jerry - who was in charge of musical numbers until he was fired - and Robert Wise

Oscar winner: Rita Moreno played the role in the 1961 film co-directed by Jerry – who was in charge of musical numbers until he was fired – and Robert Wise

Two years after Jerry’s death, Stephen bluntly told the newspaper’s former theater critic Frank Rich, “I can’t even say I miss Jerry – I miss Jerry’s impact on shows.”

In the movie Spielberg, Ariana can be seen as Anita and Rita in a role that was tailor-made for her in the latest iteration.

The original show features a friendly pharmacy owner named Doc, and in the new movie, Rita fulfills a similar story goal as Doc’s widow, Valentina.

Esteemed Company: In Ariana's Next Episode Of Saturday Night Live, The Musical Guest Will Be Die Young Rapper Roddy Ricch

Esteemed Company: In Ariana’s Next Episode Of Saturday Night Live, The Musical Guest Will Be Die Young Rapper Roddy Ricch

Rita confessed that she first found a shocking sensation seeing Ariana playing the role of Anita all these decades later.

“She’s a lovely Anita in the movie,” Rita said, affectionately touching Ariana’s chin as they sat together on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.

‘It’s strange!’ Rita admitted, adding that “It was so weird because all of a sudden I was playing another part” and “sure” she missed the part of Anita.

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